Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Snow Day

A winter wonderland on the second day of Spring!


I woke up with the idea of a craft in my head – shaving cream and food coloring.  It would be an excellent OT activity for Bella (and everyone else!).

Results – fun for me!  Everyone’s reactions could be plotted along a spectrum.  On one end, Jessi LOVED it!  She created beautiful pictures.  On the other end of the spectrum, Bella growled at me  :)  - but at the very end, when no one was around, she touched the foam and made five dots (Wahoo!)


Tickles – this boy loves his tickles!


Alex happy that he was home with his Jessi!


Joy is still obsessed with zombies!


Bella is obsessed with creating A-MAZ-ING outfits – this particular model is a flowy shirt, on top is a skort, worn so that the crotch goes over one shoulder, then a pink flowy dress around her neck, completed with a pair of pig slippers.  There were several other equally as beautiful ensembles throughout the day!


Because no snow day is complete without a medical emergency, we made a run to the ER.  Alex likes to bang his head (thank you Autism).  This time he busted his noggin – so to the ER we went for stitches.  The ER doc was great!  He listened to us rattle off Alex’s diagnoseses and watched him for a couple of seconds and offered us an option.  How about we don’t staple his scalp?  Since he isn’t going to leave it alone to heal, anyway, why not just let it heal on its own?  It’ll leave a nasty scar, but who cares?  Isn’t under his hair and it’s not like the poor kid doesn’t already have a designer head from all of his brain surgeries.  They did clean it and put some medicine on it, but that’s it.  I sent a picture to his teachers at school, who forwarded it to the principal, and Alex has earned himself two school free days – can’t have an open wound at school.  Oh well!  Grateful Alex didn’t seem to be in any pain – and it should heal up on its own.


Joy and I went outside and built a snow man and had a snow ball fight with the next door neighbors.  I love our next door neighbors!  They also have a SN daughter.  It’s awesome!


Our snowman – more of a snow robot!


It was a fun day!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Almost Three Months in America

English words Kai has:

eat, drink, water, wash hands, toilet, towel, tickle

banana, orange, apple, silly boy, what are you doing,

jammies, Mama and Daddy, Joy, Alex, Bob the Builder,

up, down, upstairs, downstairs, shirt, pants, socks

shoes, underwear, cookie, come on

He makes simple sentences, “Kai Kai eat.”  “Kai Kai drink.”

He’s counting: 1 approaching 10, by himself; 30 by repeating

He’ll repeat the alphabet and the sounds they make

He’ll repeat anything if you say, “Kai, say, “

And, of course, his receptive language is much farther than his expressive.

We continue to explain things to him using Google translator – because I want him to understand and be comfortable here.

The ESL teacher said yesterday at our meeting that they go through a silent period – makes sense as the new language starts to grow.  She encouraged us to keep him exposed to Mandarin, through youtube, audio books. etc., that it would actually help his acquisition of English.  So grateful for that, since that’s what we’ve been doing Smile  (Don’t know what I would do without youtube and all of the Chinese cartoons!)

He is a silly little boy who loves tickles and cuddles.  He loves to be outside on the trampoline or the swings.  We haven’t had many opportunities with the weather (snowing again tonight!).  He isn’t very patient.  If you get him ready for something, that means it’s happening NOW.  He is very patient with the other kids in the family.  He’s a wonderful little boy – I’m so glad he’s our son!!

(swinging in the play room – and loving it!)


Monday, March 19, 2018

Kai’s IEP

Today was Kai’s long awaited IEP meeting.  Two and a half hours later, my boy can attend the Kentucky School for the Blind.  He is being placed in the First Grade.  Alex and Kai will both be in the K/1 class, but they will be in different skills groups.  I am grateful he can go to school.  I just think of the opportunities he will have now – simply amazing!!  Really as I listened as the teachers discussed the various pieces of equipment they would need (must be included in the IEP), I just sat there so excited for the possibilities literally opening up for him.  Kai – I”m so excited for you and your future!

Technically he could start school tomorrow, but I’ve asked for a translator to be present for a bit as he gets started to smooth his transition.  How grateful I am that the committee agreed to my request!  But finding a translator takes some time, so Kai will officially start school on Monday.  In the meantime, we will go to school tomorrow to fill out our registration forms.  Thursday we will drop by from 9:30 to 11.  Baby steps.

So how am I feeling?  So nervous!  So excited!  I feel like he is going to exceed all of my expectations!  I feel like I’m throwing him to the wolves and he is going to be lost and cry a lot.    I am thrilled!  I am sick with fear!  But most of all, excited and grateful for this opportunity for Zheng Kai!

We have another Wildcat in the family!

Image result for kentucky school for the blind logo

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Sunday Ramblings

Lately I have been so blessed during my time in Primary.  Jack, a sweet 7 year old, was giving a talk on the Resurrection.  “Jesus was resurrected and I will be too.”  And my heart just burned as the Holy Ghost testified to the truthfulness of that statement.  How grateful I am for the resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ!  Such hope!  Such relief!  Death is not the end.  I am so grateful for that!  I think I’ve also had Easter on my mind, so that helped to prepare my heart for this additional witness of the Resurrection.  Easter, to me, is the holiest day of the year.  This year there are no bunnies or eggs decorating my house (of course, we will dye eggs and have candy, but decorations around the house), only a simple sign, “He is risen.”  He is risen, which means we too will be resurrected – which means my son will be resurrected.  Ben isn’t gone forever.  He will live again! – and as my son. Everyone in my family (actually the whole human family), but everyone that I love that struggles with something physical will be healed and resurrected in a glorious, perfect body!  Becca without an auto immune disease.  Sammi without anxiety and autism.  Jessi without stuttering and anxiety.  Lizzy without separation anxiety.  Joy perfect in mind and body.  Bella healed and glorious.  Kai seeing the world for the first time through his own eyes!  Alex finally able to explain the world he loves and experiences every day.  My humans, whole and glorious – what an amazing gift the Savior has given us!!

An Alex miracle today – Alex has been having a difficult time of late.  We even centered our Family Home Evening on the power of thoughts and how they shape your reality (Craig Manning, BYU Devotional).  We wrote several positive statements to tape all around his playroom.  It has been a blessing.  Used to, Jessi would hold Jessi during Sacrament Meeting and Alex would fall asleep on her lap after a while.  Well lately, that hasn’t been happening, so she has been taking him out to the foyer.  She sits out there with him and sings and hums to him.  Today he would hum a note and she would sing him a primary song that started with that note.  When she was done, he’d give her another note, and so they continued.  But they got to one song, a bedtime song we have used since Lizzy was a baby,”Go to Sleep” , and he hummed it to her!  She was thrilled!  I am so excited!  Alex loves his music – he always wants it on and he will occasionally make a noise that goes along with the music, usually a strong bass sound or done the actions to a song and his “h” “h” sound, but he has never hummed a whole song before!  It was exciting!!

Go to sleep little sleepyhead,

Nestled in your cozy bed.

Close your eyes,

And when you do,

Angels will watch over you.

I am grateful for family dinners.  They have become a tradition now that the Turpins lives here.  After church Gary and Sandi join us for dinner.  Some Sundays Jason and I cook, other Sundays it’s Sandi.  Sometimes Becca and Blake and babies join us (the house gets a bit crowded!!)  There is talking.  There is laughing.  It is good.  I am grateful for it!  (Wish my parents could be here as well to join us, then it would be perfect!)


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

An Amazing Day!

Yesterday was an amazing day – seriously, today it is raining and high 40s/low 50s – but yesterday!  We had a record high for February - 82!  The sun, the beautiful sun was out!  So I took advantage!  I took Kai outside (his third time ever!), we worked on counting, and we went to a park.  I love being outside!

Side note: Sammi is in love with baby Bennett – she and he both LOVE this baby wearing.  They share this sense of euphoria – it’s adorable!

IMG_1585  (Isn’t he still se teeny?)


trampoline and swings on the same day!


checking out different things around – the fence that surrounds the backyard.  The washer!!  :)IMG_1578


Practicing counting and numbers – every day we count.  But I wanted to start working on quantity, not just numbers.  So chocolate chips and pumpkin seeds were our manipulatives – anything edible is good!  The small tray is so he knows where to search – a confined space.IMG_1574IMG_1570

Off to the park – I walked Kai down to the stream and he was able to feel the water.  (He had just finished drinking from the water bottle that he is holding in the pictures.)


Little Miss Ellie is in a funny phase.  She likes to pick things up – to clean up.  She’ll hand you something and say, “dirty!”  So cute, but poor thing – you can’t clean up all of the leaves in the park :)


Sweet girl was so independent on the playground equipment.  She’s 16 months – amazing!


Someone else LOVED the slide!  So proud of him and how he is so brave!!


Least you be deceived, there was a meltdown.  But all things considered, a wonderful, wonderful day!!